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Monday, August 11, 2008

Church politics in Ukraine

I was dismayed, altho not particularly surprised, at this article about the ongoing skirmish between Russian and Ukrainian Orthodox clerics.

Ukraine stops broadcasting Russian Orthodox TV channel Soyuz

Moscow, August 11, Interfax - About 25 operators of cable television in Kiev, Sevastopol and Odessa [have] terminated their cooperation with Soyuz."Broadcasting of the Soyuz Orthodox TV channel is stopped in Ukraine," press-service of the Ukrainian Union of Orthodox Citizens told Interfax-Religion.

The interviewee of the agency said it became a compulsory measure taken by operators "to execute decisions of the Ukrainian National Security Council on "cleanup" of informational space in the country."

There are not-so-thinly-veiled political undertones to this complaint:...

They reminded [sic] it was "not the first "Orange" act against Orthodox television: Orthodox channel Kievskaya Rus was barred from broadcasting after "the Orange Revolution." ...

Somebody tell these guys that the Orange Revolution is history .. but that the Ukrainian quest for sovereignty and freedom from oppression lives on. They don't seem to get that.

"It's clear Orthodox majority in Ukraine doesn't want to listen to anti-canonical anti-church absurd about "local Ukrainian Church" and "Orthodox Pope" in the person of the Constantinople Patriarch, but those who seek separation of the Ukrainian Church from the Russian spare no effort to impose this absurd [sic] on Ukraine," representatives of Orthodox community stated.

Um, right. Now who's being absurd?

This may come across as kind of a crazy, wacky idea... but might Russian Orthodox hierarchs and clerics do better to be promoting their Christian cultural heritage (by example) rather than their Russian political heritage (by bullying)? I dunno. Just a thought.

Here's another. If Ukrainians want their own Orthodox church, why not just let them have it and get on with spreading the Good News... together, albeit in your separate cultural milieus. Didn't the spiritual leader the Orthodox ostensibly follow (i.e., Jesus Christ) say something about His kingdom not being of this world?

Ostensibly is an operative word, obviously. Otherwise, there'd be much better, happier news to blog about on the eastern Christian religious scene.


Anonymous said...

I remember those dark small books published in Moscow Orthodox church basements distributed on streets of Kyiv... Brrr.... Pure Ukrainophobia and antisemitism. If that Soyouz TV was from the same hands no doubts why it has been banned.

Pawlina said...

Yeah, I was watching The Putin System on CBC last night and noticed that there was always some Russian Orthodox cleric in the entourage of the Soviet/Russian leader of the day.

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